Rumor: Apple to unveil iPad Air 2, updated Retina iPad mini in October

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Date: Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014, 10:10
Category: Hardware, iPad, Rumor

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With the vast amount of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch kerfluffle generally behind us, it’s time to turn our attention to Apple’s next-gen iPad Air, which could be introduced sometime in October if Apple’s October 21 event is any indication.

Per Taiwan’s Commercial Times, the next-gen iPad Air will enter production in September, shipping next month.

Commercial Times also suggests that the next-generation Retina iPad mini might not launch alongside the iPad Air, coming instead in early 2015, with a 12.9-inch “iPad Pro” to follow in the second quarter of 2015.

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Apple releases OS X 10.9.4 Mavericks update

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Date: Monday, June 30th, 2014, 16:38
Category: News, Software

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On Monday, Apple released its OS X 10.9.4 Mavericks operating system update. The new version, which stands at roughly a 958.2 megabyte via OS X’s Software Update utility, offers the following fixes, changes and new features:

- Fixes an issue that prevented some Macs from automatically connecting to known Wi-Fi networks.

- Fixes issue causing the background or Apple logo to appear incorrectly on startup.

- Improves the reliability of waking from sleep.

- Includes Safari 7.0.5.

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Goodbye Aperture, hello Photos

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Date: Monday, June 30th, 2014, 15:10
Category: Announcement, Apple, Mac, photos, Pro Apps, Software, The Apple Core, Yosemite

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Last week an Apple spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company would be discontinuing the development of Aperture, Apple’s pro-level photo editing and management application, in favor of the new Photos app that will be released later this year;

“With the introduction of the new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library, enabling you to safely store all of your photos in iCloud and access them from anywhere, there will be no new development of Aperture. When Photos for OS X ships next year, users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS X.”

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OS X 10.10 Yosemite beta hardware requirements released, remain unchanged since OS X 10.9 Mavericks

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Date: Friday, June 6th, 2014, 11:02
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Processors, Software

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If you’re running OS X 10.9 Mavericks, it looks like you’re going to be able to run OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

Per AppleInsider, the following system requirements have been released for the first OS X 10.10 Yosemite beta:

- MacBook Pro: mid-2007 or newer

- MacBook Air: late 2008 or newer

- iMac: mid-2007 or newer

- Mac mini: early 2009 or newer

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OS X 10.9.3 update boosts maximum amount of VRAM recognized by recent Apple notebooks

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Date: Wednesday, May 21st, 2014, 15:39
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

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If you’re hesitant about updating to the recently-released OS X 10.9.3, there may be good news if you’re a recent Apple notebook owner.

Per French news site Mac4Ever and MacRumors, updating to 10.9.3 increases available VRAM from 1024MB to 1536MB, boosting the size of the shared memory, possibly to further improve 4K performance on the most recent Retina Display MacBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks..

The change can be seen in the Graphics/Displays section of the System Report accessible via “About This Mac”. Apple has not yet updated its support page to reflect the new VRAM limits, continuing to list 1GB of system memory as the maximum. The update was also not mentioned in the 10.9.3 release notes.

The 10.9.3 update also included enhanced support for 4K displays and restored the ability to sync contacts and calendars between Macs and iOS devices over USB.

Finally, it’s been reported that some machines with HD 4000 graphics have seen a VRAM boost as well, namely the 2012 Mac Mini, which now has a maximum VRAM of 1024MB, up from 768MB.

If you’ve seen this improvement or any significant changes on your end since installing OS X 10.9.3, please let us know in the comments.

New Mac Pro has socketed Intel CPU

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Date: Monday, December 30th, 2013, 09:57
Category: Features, Intel, Mac Pro, Processors, Take Apart, Thunderbolt

mac_pro_2013_internals-250x340Now that people have started to get their hands on the new Mac Pro, naturally the first thing they do is to tear it apart to see what makes it tick. Since the announcement of the Mac Pros specs and hardware, potential buyers have been lamenting the lack of user-upgradeable components in the sleek, black cylinder. It may be one of the reasons Apple was able to make it so small, but that is little consolation to pro users who are used to having more flexibility with their hardware. So far it was believed that the only internal part that could be upgraded was the memory. Apple expects all other expansion to be done through the Mac Pro’s six, high-speed Thunderbolt 2 ports.

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MacBook fan noise control guide posted

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Date: Friday, June 28th, 2013, 08:36
Category: How-To, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

You love your MacBook.

In intimate ways.

If your MacBook, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air has begun making excessive fan noise, PowerPage head honcho Jason O’Grady has penned a full guide over on The Apple Core as to which applications can best control fan speeds and the resulting noise.

Head over, take a gander and let us know if Jason’s advice works out in the comments section.

Microsoft releases long-awaited Office Mobile 365 for iOS

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Date: Friday, June 14th, 2013, 06:58
Category: iOS, News, Software

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You’ve been hankering for a native version of Microsoft Office for iOS for some time now.

And it’s arrived.

Per AppleInsider, Microsoft on Friday released its Office Mobile 365 app for Apple’s iPhone, allowing users with subscriptions to the productivity suite to access Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on the go.

With Microsoft’s Office Mobile, users can view documents stored in Microsoft’s SkyDrive, SkyDrive Pro or SharePoint, as well as read and edit Office docs sent as email attachments. Additionally, owners of Windows machines can remotely access documents that were recently viewed on a desktop client.

Another PC-only feature is “Resume Reading,” which allows Word documents opened from SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro to automatically jump to where users left off on their Windows computer or tablet.

Microsoft says documents are optimized before being viewed on the iPhone, while support for charts, animations, SmartArt Graphics and shapes comes built-in. Also available is an in-app Slide Navigator in PowerPoint and a function to help with presentation practice.

The application offers the following features:
- Edit – You can make quick edits to Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.

- Documents Remain Intact – Formatting and content remain intact when you edit Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents on your phone.

- Edit While Offline – Your device doesn’t have to be continuously connected to the network to work on an Office document that is stored online. You can view and edit recently used documents even while you’re offline. Your changes will be saved online when your device reconnects to the network or to Wi-Fi.

- Create – You can create new Word and Excel documents on your phone.

- Comments – You can review comments that have been made in Word and Excel documents on your phone and add your own comments.

- Share – When you’re done with your edits or comments, simply send the document in email or save it to SkyDrive or SharePoint.

Office Mobile comes in at 58MB and is available from the App Store as a free companion app for existing Office 365 subscribers. The app requires an iOS device running iOS 6.1 or later to install and run. Microsoft Office 2013 for PC is required for recent document and resume reading.

If you’ve tried Office Mobile 365 and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Rumor: Updated Retina Display MacBook Pro with 1080p camera, MacBook Air with improved microphone expected at WWDC

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Date: Monday, June 3rd, 2013, 06:12
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, Rumor

It’s the rumors that make life interesting.

Per 9to5Mac, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI securities listed his forecast for MacBook Pro and Air updates expected at WWDC. Apple’s annual developer-centric conference begins on June 10th with a keynote. The biggest change is Apple will move to Intel’s Haswell processors. These chips dramatically reduce power consumption, which in turn could allow Apple to need fewer batteries in the Retina MacBook Pros:

“We expect the new MacBook, featuring an upgrade to Intel’s (US) Haswell processor, will be in the spotlight for Apple at the upcoming WWDC from June 10. Along with the new processor, we expect the following modifications to each product line:

Retina MacBook Pro to be slimmer slightly, along with a camera upgrade. We expect the 13” Retina MacBook Pro will have a slightly slimmer form factor for increasing its portability. Also, we think the camera spec will be upgraded from HD to full HD. This will improve Facetime and video conference quality in the high resolution Retina display.”

The 1080P camera would match the capabilities of the rear-cameras in recent iOS hardware, but this would represent the first time in which Apple shipped a 1080p-capable front-facing sensor.

If Apple does choose to keep the same batteries and size of the Retina MacBook Pro, the new Haswell chips could push battery life up over 10 hours.

As for the MacBook Air, at least one improvement is expected by Kuo:

“MacBook Air to share dual built-in microphone design of Retina MacBook Pro. We forecast that this year’s new MacBook Air model will also have dual built-in microphones as a result of positive feedback on this feature in Retina MacBook Pro, which delivers clear voice quality on Facetime and VoIP service.”

Apple previously noted that the dual-microphone setup is ideal for voice apps like the included Dictation function.

Kuo expects the older, non-Retina MacBook Pros to freeze and be taken out of the spotlight, much like the iPod Classic. The computer would continue to be sold but with the current Ivy Bridge processors, optical drive slots, and high-capacity hard drives.

The report also notes that MacBooks in general are not immune from the overall global slowdown in PC purchasing caused by the iPad and other tablet cannibalization. The expectation is that 2013 will see 12M units sold, off 1.6M from 2012′s 13.6M total.

Finally, Kuo notes that Apple’s move away from optical and hard drive based storage continues to shift orders to SSD producers:

SSD to be mainstream storage solution for MacBook. We estimate the market share of MacBook with SSD to rise from 45% in 2012 to 64% in 2013, far ahead of the industry’s 15-20%. We also expect SSD penetration to continue to trend up, with SSD eventually replacing conventional hard disk drive and optical disc drive.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Rumor: Apple to debut updated MacBook models at this year’s WWDC

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Date: Monday, April 29th, 2013, 06:03
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, Rumor

If there’s one new-ish rule of the universe, it’s that Apple chooses when it gets to hold its dog and pony shows.

And the next one might be during the Worldwide Developers Conference this June.

Per AppleInsider, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities believes Apple will showcase updated MacBook Pro models at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference in June, with the most notable upgrade being the move to Intel’s next-generation Haswell family of processors.

Kuo, who has a reliable track record in predicting Apple’s product plans, said in a research note that while the Cupertino company is likely to bump its current MacBook lineup to Intel’s latest platform, speculated upgrades like a MacBook Air with Retina display are unlikely.

While no major design changes are thought to be in store for WWDC, Kuo now thinks Apple will keep the optical drive-toting MacBook Pro alive alongside the company’s most advanced MacBook Pro with Retina display and MacBook Air models. The analyst previously forecast Apple would retire the line as it moved to all-Retina product offerings.

“There is still demand in emerging markets, where Internet penetration isn’t advanced, for optical disk drives,” he said of the 13- and 15-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro. Apple’s top-tier MacBook lineup eschewed the previous built-in SuperDrive in a bid to slim down the chassis and cut weight.

For the consumer market, Kuo said the biggest change to the MacBook lineup in 2013 will be the introduction of Intel’s Haswell processor, which replaces the Ivy Bridge architecture currently used in the company’s computers. Intel recently announced that Haswell will be unveiled on June 3, one day prior to the Computex Taipei trade show.

Kuo believes the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro will begin shipping by the end of the second quarter, close to the forecasted WWDC launch, while the MacBook Pro with Retina display will see release later in the year due to low yield of the notebook’s high-resolution panels.

Apple has traditionally used WWDC as an opportunity to launch innovative new products, with last year’s event seeing the debut of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display.

WWDC 2013 is scheduled to run from June 10 through 14 at Moscone West in San Francisco. Tickets to the conference sold out in less than two minutes, breaking the previous record of about two hours.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.